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Chief Judge Merrick Garland, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Chief Judge Merrick Garland, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM.

Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be attorney general, used the start of his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee to reiterate his commitment to an independent Justice Department after the Trump DOJ faced criticism over perceived politicization.

Garland told senators Monday that the prosecutions tied to the Capitol riots Jan. 6 are his “first priority.” In response to questioning from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, Garland indicated no one would be clear from prosecution in relation to the riots. Neither her nor Whitehouse explicitly named former President Donald Trump as belonging in that group, but the exchange hinted at his inclusion.

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Jacqueline Thomsen

Jacqueline Thomsen, based in Washington, is a reporter covering D.C. federal courts and the legal side of politics. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jacq_thomsen.

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